On This Day March 20

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On This Day February 24

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).

1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.

1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.

1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.

1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.

1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”

1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.

1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”

1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”

1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.

2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”

On This Day February 14

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1849 – James Polk becomes the first American president to be photographed while in office.

1920 – The League of Women Voters is established as a “political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy.

1924 – International technology giant IBM (International Business Machines Corp.) is founded and eventually becomes known as “Big Blue.”

1929 – Seven rivals of mobster Al Capone are gunned down in a Chicago garage during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives Americans an intimate, televised tour of The White House, hosted by CBS News correspondent Charles Collingwood. Although produced by CBS, the special airs on all three major TV networks the same week and is eventually broadcast in other countries, reaching an estimated global audience of some 80 million viewers.

1988 – U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen, a favorite to win the gold medal in the 500-meter race at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, falls during competition, only hours after learning his sister had died of cancer.

1989 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie because his book mocked or at least contained mocking references to the Prophet Muhammad and other aspects of Islam.

2018 – An 19-year-old expelled student enters Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opens fire, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others, in what becomes the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

On This Day January 9

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On This Day December 27

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On This Day October 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1867 – The U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre.

1898 – One year after Spain grants Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island’s one million inhabitants.

1931 – Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, dies from complications of diabetes in his West Orange, New Jersey home at the age of 84. Edison is most famous for inventing the phonograph, motion picture camera and the incandescent light bulb.

1954 – Music, information and sports become portable as Texas Instruments and the Regency division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates introduce the transistor radio. Marketed as the “world’s first pocket radio,” the Regency Model TR-1 retails for $49.95.

1961 – “West Side Story” opens in theaters, featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The movie musical captures 10 Academy Awards.

1967 – “The Jungle Book” opens at the box office. It’s the last animated feature personally produced by Walt Disney, who died during production.

1968 – The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends two African American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a “Black Power” salute during their medal ceremony at the Mexico City games.

1988 – The sitcom “Roseanne” premieres on ABC, starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1968 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono are arrested after cannabis is discovered in their London flat. Lennon pleads guilty for fear that Ono would be deported.

1969 – “I Can’t Get Next to You” becomes the second chart-topping single for Motown titans, The Temptations. The track holds the No. 1 spot for two weeks.

1975 – John Denver’s “Windsong” is No. 1 on the U.S. album chart. It contains the hits “I’m Sorry” and “Calypso.”

1980 – Queen enters its third and final week on top of the pop chart with “Another One Bites the Dust.”

1986 – Janet Jackson starts the second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “When I Think of You,” from her “Control” album.

1997 – Elton John’s tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales is the No. 1 single. It is a rewritten and rerecorded version of his 1974 song, “Candle in the Wind.”

2003 – “Baby Boy, by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul, is in the middle of a nine-week marathon on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track is from Beyoncé’s debut solo album, “Dangerously in Love.”

2005 – A photo of a naked John Lennon wrapped around a fully clothed Yoko Ono, taken by acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is voted best magazine cover of the past 40 years by a panel of magazine editors. The photo was snapped on December 8, 1980, just hours before Lennon was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building. It appeared on the cover of the January 22, 1981 edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

On This Day October 11

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1793 – The death toll from a yellow fever outbreak in what was then the capital of the United States — Philadelphia — reaches 100. A cold front that arrives about two weeks later wipes out the city’s mosquito population, which reduces the number of casualties to 20 per day. But by the time the epidemic ends that November, more than 5,000 people had died.

1950 – CBS becomes the first television network to secure a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license to broadcast in color.

1968 – The first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, blasts off and transmits the first live TV signals from orbit. The crew orbits Earth 163 times during 10 days and 20 hours in space.

1975 – Late-night television turns edgy with the first broadcast of NBC’s “Saturday Night,” later renamed “Saturday Night Live” and known today as “SNL.” Original cast members include Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Chevy Chase. Comedian George Carlin hosts Episode 1, with musical perfomances by Billy Preston and Janis Ian.

1986 – Following up on their successful November 1985 summit in Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik, Iceland, to continue disarmament talks. While negotiations break down, they pave the way for the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the Superpowers.

2002 – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1962 – The Beatles make their first appearance on the U.K. singles chart with “Love Me Do,” which eventually peaks at No. 17. It performs better across the pond on the Billboard singles chart, where it reaches No. 1 on May 30, 1964.

1969 – The Archies wrap up four weeks as chart-toppers with “Sugar Sugar.”

1971 – John Lennon releases “Imagine,” which becomes an international anthem for peace and love and the most successful single of the former Beatle’s solo career. It peaks at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shortly before his death in 1980, Lennon admitted that much of the song’s content came from his wife, Yoko Ono, and in 2017 she received a co-writing credit.

1975 – “Bad Blood” by Neil Sedaka, with backup vocals provided by Elton John, begins a three-week run as the No. 1 single.

1975 – “Born to Run” becomes Bruce Springsteen’s first Top 40 hit. The single only climbs as high as No. 23, but propels The Boss’s musical career into the stratosphere.

1986 – Janet Jackson scores her first No. 1 single with “When I Think of You,” off her “Control” album. The track holds the top spot for two weeks.

1997 – Elton John begins 14 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with his musical tribute to the late Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind.” The track is an updated version of John’s 1973 recording from the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album, which was a homage to screen siren Marilyn Monroe.

2003 – “Baby Boy,” by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul, is in the second of nine weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

2008 – T.I. (a.k.a. Tip) is No. 1 on the pop chart with “Whatever You Like.”

On This Day October 9

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On this Day May 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1897 – The first copies of the classic vampire novel “Dracula,” by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops.

1927 – It’s the end of the road for Ford’s iconic Model T automobile. The 15 millionth and last Model T Ford rolls off a Detroit assembly line with Ford founder Henry Ford in the front passenger seat and his son, Edsel, behind the wheel. The touring car, with hand-stamped VIN 15000000, marked the symbolic end of the groundbreaking automobile’s 19-year production run.

1953 – The first 3-D sci-fi movie premieres in Los Angeles: “It Came from Outer Space,” based on a Ray Bradbury story.

1959 – Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before losing, 1-0, in the 13th. It’s the first time a pitcher throws more than nine perfect innings in major league history.

1969 – Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing. During descent from its lunar orbit, the spacecraft sets a record for the fastest speed attained by a manned vehicle.

1972 – Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements.

1977 – The so-called “human fly,” George Willig, scales the South Tower of New York City’s World Trade Center by attaching himself to a window washing track and walking straight to the top and into the custody of waiting police officers. It takes Willig three and a half hours to make the climb and costs him $1.10 in fines — one penny per floor.